You know what is kind of cool?
Every time I work out, in the middle of all the sweat and struggle and discomfort and thoughts of "this is hard; I want to quit", I also have these really amazing thoughts of perseverance during hard times. It's almost like the clouds of negativity dissipate in my mind, allowing positive thoughts to filter in. I kind of bask in the high of my endorphins, and let the inspirational thoughts float around in my head!
Back when I went to the gym, I would get these thoughts too. I always remember thinking that I wished I had a way to blog while running on the treadmill because I would get these inspirational thoughts and I wanted to write them down! I would finish my workout and basically run to the nearest table and chair just so I could whip out my phone and jot down my thoughts!
And now, I'm sitting on the edge of my chair, all sweaty, post-workout, to get this all written down! My thoughts never seem to come out as fluidly if I wait until I "have the time".
Lately I have been much more "make the time for what you enjoy". I used to journal in notebooks all the time! It was very therapeutic for me, and I enjoyed going back and reading about things I struggled with and how I ultimately got though them. I started this blog, initially not really knowing why or where it would take me, but I'm glad I still have a place to write! I'm working on carving out more time to write like I used to. Having kids has made me 10x more busy, but my mind about 100x more busy. You kinda have to be in the right headspace to write (creatively), and a moment to have time to let my mind clear is rare.
I have found that working out has helped me in more ways than one. The most obvious being taking care of my physical body. but the less outwardly noticeable, but probably more important, has been my mind. Working out has given me a sense of accomplishment. As a SAHM, I don't have too many things that I can feel accomplished about. My kids, obviously, but that is an 18-year work-in-progress and not exactly something that gives me short-term feelings of success. When all I do, round the clock, is care for my kids and my house, it is nice to have something just for me. A place to physically and mentally work on myself.
Don't get me wrong, it is still hard for me to choose to get up and exercise when it yields buckets of sweat and hard work and a little bit of whimpering! But those thoughts and feelings always turn into a triumphant "I did it!".
It feels like you don't have time. It feels inconvenient. It definitely feels hard. But I'm learning, what is actually hard, is not devoting time for myself. When I make time to workout, my body feels better (ok right now my glutes are actually pretty sore and I might not be able to walk when I get up) and my mind feels refreshed! I typically want to eat better and don't feel as guilty for eating an indulgent meal if I know I'm torching calories too.
I guess I'm writing all of this to say: YOU AREN'T STUCK LIVING A LIFE THAT SUCKS.
There are so many things out there that you can do to change your life around!! Lately I have been pouring into myself and it feels so great. Here are some of my new habits (or things I'm working on making into habits):
Letting Things Roll off my Shoulders
Ok first of all, I will add the disclaimer that this is WAY easier said than done, and can depend greatly on your personality. But let me tell you, I used to be quiet and shy and a worry wart, and life has been thrown in my face and I've challenged myself to confront these traits about myself and have made me realize I've been doing myself a disservice. Does worrying really change anything? Never. Does being quiet and shy help me make friends? Not really! Making friends in the military is like speed dating - cut to the chase, put yourself out there, and open up! Does this mean I have to share my deepest, darkest secrets? Of course not, but I can't make friends if I don't try! There is so much potential and real stress in this military life, that there's not much that is super upsetting anymore. I just take in the information, and stay positive (most of the time). Again, stressing changes NOTHING!! I'm so much better at "embracing the adventure" than I used to be! And I'm realizing that with "adventuring" comes stress, but also lots of fun and opportunities for fun and accomplishing hard things!
Fueling my Body
Hi, I'm Katie, and I sell Plexus! Don't worry, I'm not going there!! This isn't a hidden trap to sell anything to you! I'm just getting this out of the way so we can move on!! I love my supplements - multivitamins, my probiotic, my pink drink for energy, and protein shakes to grow my muscles.
I also have taken more care to fuel my body with healthful foods, and not to just feed it empty calories. Do I want to just fill my belly or actually feed it? I mean this is the only body I have, so I need to help it thrive! I do also consider myself to be a foodie, so I love food and trying new things! I don't put myself on restrictive diets, because then that starts to interfere with my mental health. Food and cooking are two of my joys, and I don't want to take away from that! We also like to be spontaneous and try new restaurants and go to new places, so I keep it pretty balanced between healthy eating and indulging in my passion for food!
Working my Body
Hi, I'm Katie and I do Beachbody workouts! I AM NOT going to try to sell you Beachbody, either!! Moving on! I love the gym. I like getting out of the house into my own little world. But I have 2 young kids, I stay at home, and my gyms here don't have childcare. I kept making excuses of why I couldn't make it to the gym. So I decided it was time for Beachbody On Demand workouts! Turns out it was the best decision ever. I wasn't working out hard enough at the gym because I had no one to push me. Now, I can just put on the workout at home!
Reading Personal Development
I really had no idea this genre existed until I began seeing friends on my Plexus team recommend them. And then Beachbody coaches were recommending them. So I picked one that sounded catchy, and damn... I don't cuss often but I'm pretty sure this book has changed my entire outlook on life. I finished it a few weeks ago, and I think I'm going to read it again! I highly recommend You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. It's less than 10 bucks on Amazon right now - snatch it!!! Probably the quote that stopped me in my tracks, and kind of sums the book up, is:
"We tiptoe through life hoping to safely make it to death" - Unknown
I mean, dang, isn't that the truth?! Is that any way to live?!
I don't want to just survive, I want to t h r i v e. And this book talks alllll about how you must first love yourself, and then go after the life you freaking want.
Y'all!!! Read this book and I promise it will change your viewpoints on relationships, money, your career, your family, yourself....all of it!!
The 4 topics listed above all fit into this category as well - it's more about self-love. You deserve to worry less, you will feel better when you fuel your body properly with what it needs, and exercise!! Move your body! It's not selfish to focus on these things! If you find yourself feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, then maybe it's time for a change! It's no fun to feel bogged down with life. I was there last year when my husband was deployed for a year. It had lasting affects on me and I had to make a deliberate decision to make some changes. I make more time for myself. I speak up when I'm overwhelmed. I spend money on things that make me feel better because that is important, too. Vacationing (with or without kids) has been moved up higher on the list of priorities. Pour into yourself and it is going to automatically trickle down into the other aspects of your life!
Make. Yourself. A. Priority.
It doesn't have to be an overnight change. But little changes add up!! And you'll wonder why you didn't start doing these things sooner!
I for one can say I'm much happier in 2018. I have lost a few pounds, a few inches, gained muscle, gone down almost 2 pant sizes, purged junk around the house, quit worrying so much, vacationed near and far...I could go on and on!
It is not impossible to commit to these changes. I have messed up along the way; I'm not perfect!
But I'm telling you, start TODAY. Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not when you "have the time" (you'll never have "the time")...START RIGHT NOW.
You will be so happy you did!!